Wheel studs, fitting new studs

- by Ian Moorcraft

- Download this article here


We all like to carry a selection of items we think we might need in case of breakdown.

Recently snapping wheel studs have caused a number of owners to call out the breakdown truck. With large diameter wheels held on with only three studs, the chance of getting home on two even from a short distance without causing further damage to the wheel or losing it altogether is remote.

A spare stud carrier complete with a felt or lip seal fitted as well as the bearing is a worthwhile item to store under the back seat, either with good original studs or better still new ones fitted. Don't leave out the felt seal steel spacer washer if you fit a lip seal.

Now fitting new studs can become a challenge, using a punch can make the job really difficult especially if you do not have an extra pair of hands to help hold the carrier while you set the rivets. There is no room for error because you need to preserve the inner surface at all costs if oil leaks are to be avoided.

Start by drilling into the countersink with a 1/8” drill, on the inside of the carrier about 3/32” deep. If you are tempted to drill from the back of the carrier you will find it difficult to punch out the remains of the rivets and risk damaging the holes. Support the back of the carrier and using an 1/8” punch (not a nail or drill) knock out the rivets. If you have done a good job so far you will have two rivet heads stuck on your punch!

You will probably find the new rivets as supplied will have too large a countersink and be too long (as they will be 1/2” x 1/8” standard rivets).

You will now be able to see how deep the countersinks are and be able to have a good check that the carrier is perfectly flat, and also check the three brake drum securing screw threads are not stripped. (Hub only fixing on early cars with loose brake drums.)

Carefully measure the diameter of the countersink and replicate exactly in a steel plate so that you can file your rivets to the correct countersink depth. Next you will need to drill a 3/8” diameter hole in a suitable piece of steel plate, mine here is 1 1/2”x 5/16” thick ideal for the job.

Assemble the rivets and stud into the carrier, pushing it down into the steel plate, tapping it well down. (You may have needed to slightly clear misalignment of the rivet holes with an 1/8” drill.)

The protruding rivets can now have about 3/32” filed off their length, which should give you a nice little bun when squeezed up in the vice, give them an extra couple of strikes with your hammer while they are still in the plate before filing off the excess to a flat surface to clear the brake pivots and cams.

image 1

image 2


image 3


image 4


image 5


image 6


image 7


image 8


image 9


image 10


image 11

image 12

You should now have a perfectly flat undamaged surface on the carrier with all rivets flush on three new studs.

image 13

When assembled with the hub outer and a 0.012 paper gasket should have no gaps between the studs to let oil leak out into the brakes.


Download this article here